As previously noted, scaffolding is an important element in problem-based learning:
it is an external and somewhat artificial version of a thinking process that is usually carried out internally. The idea is to direct students’ attention from the outside until they learn to direct their own attention themselves, from the inside
For drawing students’ attention to various kinds of basic values, I found the template for utility values the easiest to develop. I don’t want to go too far, just now, in speculating about why that should be the case, but I think it has something to do with the fact that utilitarianism is the product of an empiricist outlook, according to which the marks and measures of value are observable and the connections from action to its ethical implications largely a matter of empirical causality.
Here is the basic template:
For this template, focus on the action as something that happens in the world that has consequences that ripple out from it, affecting other people. This is largely a matter of material causality: my action causes x, which causes y, which causes z, and so on. Continue reading “Scaffolding: The Utility Template”